Nadia Odlum is an emerging artist from Sydney, Australia, whose practice explores the material language and everyday practices of urban space. Their abstract works poetically reconfigure urban systems to explore the interplay between bodies and environments, evoking affective relations and embodied perception. An insatiable curiosity for mediums generates a diverse practice that spans socially engaged projects, pedagogy, painting, drawing, sculpture, artists’ books, performance collaborations, and other works in public space.

By facilitating playful and creative engagements with the nuances of urban life,  Odlum’s work invites viewers to consider the complex relationships we form with the material and social textures of our lived environments. Shifting the focus from static structures to dynamic, ever-evolving landscapes, they challenge conventional notions of 'the urban', stimulating new reflections and collaborative re-imaginings.

In their exploration of city environments, Odlum is guided by a belief in the potential of artistic practices to provoke critical inquiry and foster change. As both artist and researcher, Odlum navigates the intricate power dynamics of urban contexts, scrutinising the linkages between art, participation, and neoliberal urbanism. Drawing upon knowledge(s) from many fields, they aim to carve out an in-between space that transcends disciplinary boundaries, harnessing contemporary art practice to generate fresh insights across diverse fields.

Nadia Odlum has exhibited in galleries and public spaces across Australia and internationally. This includes presentations at the Art Gallery of NSW, Carriageworks, Artspace, Station Gallery, Firstdraft Gallery, Murray Art Museum Albury, Home of the Arts (HOTA) and MANA Contemporary USA, as well as public art commissions for Urban Art Projects and the City of Parramatta Council and pedagogical projects for Kaldor Public Art ProjectsThe Powerhouse Museum, and the Biennale of Sydney.  

Odlum's education includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) at the National Art School in 2012 and a Master of Fine Arts by Research at UNSW Art & Design in 2016, receiving the Australian Postgraduate Award. They were finalist in the 2023 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship, and have received numerous grants and prizes including the Helen Lempriere Scholarship, The Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Scholarship SCA Student Travel grant, the Dyason Bequest, and funding from Creative Australia. Residencies include the Cite Internationale des Arts (Paris), The Wassaic Project (New York), Vermont Studio Center (Vermont), Kala Art Institute (Berkeley), Palazzo Monti (Brescia, Italy), Megalo Print Studio (Canberra) and numerous residencies with Parramatta Artists’ Studios (Sydney).

At present, Nadia Odlum is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Their research focuses on intersections of contemporary art and play, and the potential for public art to create opportunities for intergenerational play in urban space. They are part of the Australian Research Council funded project ART/PLAY/RISK: An interdisciplinary approach to building child friendly cities, led by Dr Sanné Mestrom. 

For more information, feel free to get in touch.

Photo by Jacquie Manning, courtesy of Parramatta Artist's Studios 

Using Format